Dollars & Sense
People passing through Fenwick Island may have noticed more shimmer and sparkle since Sophia’s Fine Jewelry opened its doors Dec. 4, 2014, offering one-of-a-kind jewelry, service, and most importantly, a chance to make precious memories.
Planet Maze in Ocean City, Md., this week announced the kick off to a year-long celebration commemorating its 20th anniversary, featuring contests, specials and a birthday party.
Doug Ruley, corporate chef for Rehoboth Beach-based SoDel Concepts, has been invited to cook at the James Beard House on Friday, March 15.
A record number of women joined the Fund for Women as new founders at the annual Fund for Women Sussex County fundraiser, “Winter Founderland.” Women shopped, had cocktails and appetizers, and participated in the event for the cause of supporting women and girls in Delaware.
Greg Mervine believes that being proactive with his health is the least expensive form of health care. That’s why he brought his business, Fun Fit Vibe, to the corner of Central Avenue in Millville.
Fun Fit Vibe is not a gym, but pairs clients with coaches to work one-on-one, using the Power Plate.
The Power Plate is a small, round platform that vibrates at 25 to 50 times per second. Like most exercise machines, it has a handle and computer monitor attached.
People can stretch or exercise while the platform vibrates, stimulates muscles and encourages blood flow.
That stimulates muscles “down to a cellular level,” Mervine said. As the muscles expand and contract around the bone, the bone strengthens, and density increases. “It’s not overbearing. It’s low impact, high results.”
The vibration “naturally increases gravity by accelerating the platform you stand … on,” reads the Fun Fit Vibe website.
Although it can be used while people are stationary, Power Plate is even more effective during exercise.
Matt’s Fish Camp in North Bethany on Dec. 17 hosted a four-course beer dinner featuring Oskar Blues Brewery that aimed to prove that beer, like wine, does pair well with food. The restaurant is holding beer dinners in the off-season on the third Wednesday of each month. The next event is scheduled for Jan. 21.
Construction has begun on the Bethany Boathouse, the newest restaurant venture from Cottage Café business partners Tom Neville and Brent Poffenberger.
The building will be located just off Route 1, south of Bethany Beach, between Walgreens and CVS, sharing a parking lot with the latter. The casual design is reminiscent of the historical Indian River Life-Saving Station, and the gazebo that is part of the restaurant is being built partly over the existing stormwater retention pond, compensating for the small amount of land available for the structure and offering a waterfront view, despite the lack of waterway and dock space.
“Probably people are wondering where the Boathouse is gonna go! Now you know,” Poffenberger said of the site located across Route 1 from the Cottage Café.
“When anybody sees the first boat pull up to this spot, please take a picture,” joked State Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. at the Dec. 4 ribbon-cutting for the eatery.
With 2014 State of Delaware business licenses expiring at the end of December, the Delaware Division of Revenue is reminding businesses that they must renew their Delaware business license by Dec. 31, noting that it is easiest to renew licenses online at www.delaware.gov.
The Carl M. Freeman Companies this week announced the official opening of CVS/pharmacy at Bayside Marketplace, located at the southwest corner of Route 54 and Americana Parkway, across from Bayside Marketplace. The 13,281-square-foot store opened Oct. 26 and offers pharmacy service, health, beauty and personal-care offerings, general merchandise, food and digital photo services.
The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce this week held its volunteer appreciation dinner and installed its new board members. At the Dec. 2 dinner, Chamber Executive Director Amy Simmons thanked those in attendance for their help and support.
“In some way or another, you have supported the Chamber, you have volunteered for the Chamber and without you all, we could not do what we do.”
Simmons added that the Chamber had had another successful year, with such events as the Millsboro Country Festival, Central Sussex Bridal Show and the Easter Egg Hunt in Cupola Park.
During the evening, awards were also presented to Chamber members and volunteers for their service.
Crystal Hudson was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award, for the number of volunteer hours clocked at events, as well as the quality of the time put in.
“It was hands-down, without a doubt, above and beyond the others,” said outgoing Chamber President Kris Adams, who joined Simmons to present the award to Hudson.
Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, announced this week the promotion of Ronnie Burkle, a SoDel Concepts employee since 2011, to the position of corporate chef. SoDel Concepts owns and operates eight restaurants along the Delaware coast, as well as Plate Catering and Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, a food and catering truck.
Mind, Body & Sole, in collaboration with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 24, celebrating the expansion of the current spa in Bethany Beach. Members of the business community and patrons joined them for the expansion party and ribbon-cutting.
SeaScape Property Management Inc. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 7, in collaboration with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the opening of its new office location in the Millville Town Center.
Verizon Wireless retailer recently announced that 300 of its stores will be donating and volunteering at local food banks through its “Stop the Hunger” initiative this holiday, season in a joint effort with its customers. The local participating store is in Millville, at 224 Atlantic Avenue.
The Bethany Boathouse, the latest venture for Cottage Café owners Brent Poffenberger and Tom Neville, will hold a public groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m., with a reception immediately following at the Cottage Café.
Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors has voted to return $3.4 million in capital credits to the cooperative’s member-owners in December. Capital credits are also known as the co-op’s profits or margins. Because DEC is a non-profit utility, margins are returned to the people the cooperative serves.
For the past 21 years, Sussex County community leaders, business people and citizens have been coming together at the Today and Tomorrow Conference to promote economics, partnership and collaboration in the county.
The conference, which was held last week at Delaware Tech in Georgetown, was a “SELLebration.”
Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) officially cut the ribbon on its new Delmarva Health Pavilion in Millsboro on Oct. 22.
“What a privilege it is to stand here during this grand opening of our magnificent grand opening,” said Dr. Peggy Naleppa, president and CEO.
SoundFX in Lewes, Del., is the recipient of the 2014 Retailer of the Year — Single Store Award presented by Mobile Electronics magazine. Co-owner Brian Layton received the award at a special ceremony in August during the annual KnowledgeFest tradeshow in Dallas.
For more than two decades, Grout Fix Services has been providing customers from Lewes to Ocean City, Md., and the surrounding area with solutions to their tile and grout needs.
“We’re on time all the time, and we take a proactive approach to what we do and pay attention to detail,” said owner Wayne Kratzer of the business’ success. “That kind of sticks out with people, that we follow through. It’s the little touches that make the difference.”
After moving to the area around more than 20 years ago from Pennsylvania, it was by coincidence that Kratzer got into the business.
“I moved to the area 22 years ago and wanted a change and decided to come down here,” he explained. “I actually got involved with this by accident, by working with chemicals, and came up with this process of grout sealing.”
Body & Soul has been offering Pilates and yoga since they opened in January of 2013; however, it wasn’t until recently that the Selbyville-based studio became the first in the area to offer barre workout classes — which is a growing exercise trend based on ballet.
“It’s a very non-impact, yet still aerobic workout. Their heart rates are elevated but at a maintained level,” said Body & Soul barre instructor Erin Dunworth. “It’s a proven exercise that we just haven’t had around here. Every week we get a couple new clients.”
“[We’re] following the curve,” added Body & Soul owner Di Hill. “[It’s] a group fitness exercise, and then adding in the fundamentals of Pilates, which is strengthening and a lot of core work, and yoga, which is the stretching part — so it’s a compressive program.”
While Hill has only owned the studio for going on two years, she brings 35 years of experience in various exercise and health practices, including Pilates, personal training, reformer training and yoga, and is certified in them all.
Pizza Palace III has come to Selbyville, and with a delivery service, it’s bringing the party all over Sussex County. Located in the Strawberry Center on Route 113, it takes the place of the former Pizzelli’s restaurant.
In the kitchen, freshly made dough rises on the counter, and the sauce is a secret recipe. Hand-rolled into each pan, pizza headlines a long Italian-style menu. Any combination is available, building on top of golden melted mozzarella cheese: Mexican pizza with hot sauce, tomato, onion, jalapeno and chicken; meat lovers; vegetarian; Hawaiian; classic white pizza with garlic butter and mozzarella; cheesesteak pizza; and more.
Or, diners can try a variation, with the Stromboli, steak-o-boli or calzone.
“They love the pizza here — dinner specials at a decent price,” said Salvatore “Sal” Barbagallo, partner and pizza master.
Calling all witches and ghouls: Goodwill of Delaware’s annual Halloween Costume Competition is under way.
After nearly six months of renovations, Millsboro’s Blue Water Grill will officially reopen its doors for business on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11:30 a.m.
The restaurant closed in March following an electrical fire that caused damage to the restaurants kitchen and ceiling.
“We did okay. Thank goodness we had insurance. We had coverage while we were closed. It was certainly not the same as sales, but it was a huge blessing,” said Jessica Wiggins, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Josh. “Six months was a long time to be closed.”
While the dog days of summer may be dwindling, the hot dog days are just getting under way in Fenwick Island, as Twilley’s Hot Dog Hut opened its doors last week, just in time for Labor Day. Owned by Fenwick local Mark Twilley, who brings extensive restaurant-industry experience, the venture has been a long time in the making.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. To actually be in the town I grew up in — it’s awesome, it makes it even better,” he said of being able to launch a business in his home town. “A lot of friends and family have come in to help support me, and I’m greatly appreciative of that and, hopefully, the word of mouth spreads and [we] just keep picking up the business.”
Twilley said he got the idea for the business when he and his girlfriend, Tara Sansone, were brainstorming ideas for things that the area was missing.
Michael Loftus, owner of Loftus Wealth Strategies in Millville was recently named a Five Star Wealth Manager for 2014 by Five Star Professional, a company that researches and recognizes outstanding service professionals.
ResortQuest Real Estate announced recently that Shelby Smith has joined the West Fenwick office on Route 54 in real estate sales as part of the Windrow Team.
Smith graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in business management and worked as a financial analyst before moving to the resort area and obtaining her Delaware real estate license.
Many teachers have reached into their own pockets for the benefit of students, whether for school supplies or another need. Restaurateur Matt Haley wanted to ease that pressure and did so recently with a $500 grant for each of his 15 employees who teach during the year.
Haley, who was killed as the result of a motorcycle crash while on a humanitarian mission in India on Monday, Aug. 18, had recently announced the Matt Haley Companies’ (MHC’s) Teacher Fund, designed to support all teachers who work part- or full-time for MHC.
“Any student of a teacher that works with us is a student of ours. No underprivileged student will ever not be prepared with school supplies again. We commit to supporting our students with supplies so the teachers will not have to,” Haley said in announcing the effort earlier this summer.
“The aim of the fund is to ensure children in the classrooms of our teachers are fully funded and have the supplies and resources to be successful,” explained MHC President Scott Kammerer. “If somebody needs a pair of shoes, backpack, pencils, crayons…”
This is the first Teacher Fund, but it likely won’t be the last for MHC’s teachers. Asked if such a program would entice more teachers to take jobs within the Haley companies, Kammerer said, “I hope so!”
“I think companies that are successful should look within their own families to support [them]. Our family was supported by someone giving Matt Haley a chance. It’s in the DNA of our company to pay it forward.”
Those who have missed the signs for Jakarta’s Indonesian Grill along Route 26 in Clarksville have also been missing out on one of the area’s most unique spots to eat.
Husband-and-wife owners Dave Olson and Tri “Kiky” Sari have introduced an authentic taste of Indonesia to Sussex County — one that, for the most part, can’t be found anywhere else.
“We’ve had a lot of people come up and say, ‘You’re the only curry place in town,’ and they come here just for the curry,” said Olson of some of the Jakarta’s regulars.
“They always come back to me and say, ‘There’s something different about your food,’” added Sari.
From their food truck located next to the colorful shop Liddy Loves Clothes, Sari has been serving up a variety of traditional Indonesian cuisine, including beef and chicken curry, Javanese fried rice, Javanese fried noodles and, on the weekends, chicken satay.
Bank of America has agreed to pay $45 million to Delaware and provide significant financial benefits to Delaware homeowners to settle allegations that it misled investors about the riskiness of mortgage-backed securities, Attorney General Beau Biden announced this week.